Familiar faces, and one new contender, running in Floral Park, NHP elections

Jed Hendrixson
(from left) Village of Floral Park Trustee Lynn Pombonyo, Trustee Frank Chiara and candidate Nadia Holubnyczyj-Ortiz. (Photos courtesy of Floral Park Citizen's Party and NadiaForTrustee.com)

The villages of Floral Park and New Hyde Park will hold elections this year, mostly for those seeking re-election, but a new candidate is seeking to disrupt the establishment a bit.

In Floral Park, two trustee seats, currently held by trustees Lynn Pombonyo and Frank Chiara, are up for grabs, the only contested races in both villages. They face the same challenger for both seats.

Hillcrest Civic Association President Nadia Holubnyczyj-Ortiz has thrown her hat into the ring against the two trustees seeking re-election.  In a campaign statement. she said she is “running against incumbents who are backed by a party that has been dominating village government for nearly 100 years.”

Holubnyczyj-Oritz, a vocal Floral Park resident who has consistently attended trustees’ meetings to press the board on village happenings, is hoping to bring transparency, accountability, honesty and integrity to the village, a campaign statement said.

Holubnyczyj-Ortiz is running under the United Village Party, and this will be the first contested election in the village in over 10 years, she said. Pombonyo, Chiara and Mayor Dominick Longobardi, who is also running for re-election, are all members of the Citizens’ Party.

Residents have expressed frustration with the current administration over the years and are supporting Holubnyczyj-Ortiz’s run, she said.

Pombonyo, who is seeking her third term on the board, said that if elected she plans to continue to work with the community to address ongoing issues in the village like the Long Island Rail Road construction and ongoing Belmont redevelopment plans.

In addition to serving on the village board, Pombonyo is the former superintendent of the Floral Park-Bellerose school district and said she has enjoyed working as a liaison with many village organizations, like the fire department, various civic associations and library, among others.

She added that she would like to carry on her work on the board and ensure that Floral Park remains a great place to live.

Chiara said his biggest focus if re-elected will be to maintain the village’s responsible fiscal practices, as well as promoting the sociable aspects of life in Floral Park.

Chiara, a chief investigator in the Bronx district attorney’s office, was elected to his first term as a trustee in 2017 and has been a Floral Park resident for 19 years. His Citizens’ Party biography says he is a longtime coach with the Floral Park Indians, a youth sports club, and a member of the West End and South Side civic associations.

Floral Park residents will be able to vote for any two of the three trustee candidates.

Longobardi, running uncontested for a second term as mayor, said he loves the job, and when re-elected will continue to address improvements to the quality of life in Floral Park, like handicap accessibility, Belmont project updates and residents’ concerns.

“It will always be about being prepared going forward,” Longobardi said.

In New Hyde Park, three trustees are seeking re-election to their seats and all are running unopposed.

Trustee Rainer Burger and Deputy Mayor Donna Squicciarino are both seeking four-year terms and Trustee Richard Coppola is eyeing another two-year term.

Burger, who was appointed to the board in 2018 by Mayor Lawrence Montreuil following the death of Trustee Donald Barbieri, said that some of his biggest concerns in seeking his first election to the board include continuing to work closely with the LIRR, MTA and 3TC in voicing the village’s and residents’ concerns about the third track expansion project.

Burger currently works for AECOM Tishman, a construction and design firm, as a consultant to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

In addition to serving as a liaison to the LIRR project, Burger, a U.S. Air Force reservist, said he would like to work closely with the local VFW post and American Legion to ensure veterans’ ceremonies and needs are recognized in the village.

Squicciarino was unavailable for comment at the time of publication. In 2013, Squicciarino was appointed to the board by then-Mayor Robert Lofaro and was then elected to a trustee post the following year. In addition to her time as village deputy, she works as a certified public accountant.

Efforts to reach Trustee Richard Coppola for comment were unavailing. Coppola is seeking his sixth term on the board after nearly two decades serving New Hyde Park, this time for a two-year stint. Coppola currently serves as the village’s liaison for the police and fire departments, as well as the auxiliary police department.

Both villages elections are scheduled for Tuesday, March 19.

Voters in Floral Park can vote from noon to 9 p.m. at Reliance Firehouse in District 1, the pool and recreation building in Districts 2 and 3 and the Atlantic Avenue firehouse in District 4.

Voters in New Hyde Park can vote at village hall from noon to 9 p.m.

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